Canto Seventeen – In the Lizardman’s Stronghold
Biznap, Farbick, and Starbright all had their hands resting against the helmet crests that contained their Telleron head-fins. It was not easy to hold your hands above your head while wearing the heavy environment suits, but the large, nasty-looking slug-thrower the little lizardman held in his hands gave them extra encouragement. Farbick was fairly sure the weapon worked like an Earther machine gun and could fire a steady stream of hot metal projectiles.
“You are the most pukingly repugnant set of miscreants ever produced by your inferior amphibianoid race,” said the huge, obese lizardman sitting on the throne, the one, it turned out, that had the girly voice. The reptile wore only loose-fitting robes over his elephantine body, and his small, atrophied legs made it obvious the prodigious bulk could not even walk by himself.
“Will you eat one of them now, master?” asked the little lizardman with deep, dangerous-sounding voice. He was tiny compared to the Tellerons, and microscopic compared to his master, but Farbick could tell by his scowl and his cold yellow snake eyes that he was by far the most dangerous creature in the room.
“The female looks delicious,” squeaked the fat one, “but they killed Grakknarh. We can’t afford to eat them while they are still useful to our plans.”
“Grakknarh was the lizardman who attacked us outside?” Farbick asked.
“Yes. And he was the one keeping the scabbies out of this facility.”
“What are scabbies?” Starbright asked.
The little lizardman grimaced as he spoke. “Survivors of Tedhkruhz’s bacteria weapon are mindless monsters now. They are covered in scabs from the disease, and they attack and eat anyone they see.”
“Don’t give them too much information, Stabharh,” warned the fat one. “They are our prisoners now, but they have superior technology that we want.”
“Yes, Bahbahr, I yield to your wisdom.”
“What technology?” asked Farbick.
“The space ship you came in on, for one,” squealed Bahbahr greedily. “We need it to get to another base where we can continue to try to fight off Overlord Rekhpahree, and evil Senator Tedhkruhz. They have been trying to force my business empire out of business and killed most of my employees.”
“Giving a space ship to Galtorrians is totally out of the question,” said Biznap. “We have no intention of unleashing your reptilian hordes on the galaxy.”
“What hordes?” asked Stabharh. “Most of the population of Galtorr Prime is now dead or diseased. There are barely any uninfected males left alive, and no females that we know of.”
“Too much information!” shouted Bahbahr. “You need to leave some things for them to figure out on their own.”
“But you told me they were stupid,” said Stabharh.
“Yes, but you are telling them everything!”
“Oh. Yeah. Sorry, Bahbahr.”
“Commander Biznap is right in saying that we would rather die than give you the space ship,” said Starbright.
“Whoa, now… I didn’t actually say that.” Biznap took his hands off his head fin. “You don’t know how to fly a starship, do you?”
“No,” admitted Stabharh, “but we can learn.”
“Oh, sorry again.”
“We would be willing to transport the two of you to this new base you wish to move to. After we deliver you, you will let us fly back to our people.”
“We let one of you go. And we keep the other two, along with all of the weapons you used to slay Grakknarh.”
“You can keep one of us, and the weapons,” countered Biznap. “You will need someone to show you how to use the weapons properly. By the way, do you have mirrors on your world?”
“Of course we have mirrors,” said Bahbahr in disgust. “How else can I admire my beautiful figure and emerald scales?”
“Good,” said Biznap. “I know a special trick with our weapons and a nice mirror.”
“We will think about your deal on the way to Galtorr Nine.”
“We will need a decision first,” said Biznap.
“We could eat you all now and figure the weapons out for ourselves…”
Biznap nodded meekly. Farbick wondered if it might not have been better to get the devouring over with.